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Arc 1.0: Unless first a dream

He woke up.

Experience had taught him to keep his eyes closed, so he took a moment to understand his situation.

First things first. He dreamt. He can’t quite remember what and for how long, but he dreamt. It had been so long since the last time he dreamt of anything that he couldn’t help but feel more hopeful for this lifetime. Perhaps, there would be something to surprise him? It seemed foolish, but he hadn’t felt foolish in years, so he had to cherish the chance.

His host seemed to have died in his sleep. He had a short, fulfilling life with little meaning beyond his paintings and books. No family, no lovers and not many friends. Quite simple, no great ambitions or deeds, but he had been happy. And happiness was so rare an achievement that few ever saw it, let alone experience it.

Now certain of his safety, he rose from the bed and entered the bathroom. Black curly hair and warm brown eyes looked back at him from the mirror. He touched his host’s — his now — cheeks and found himself to be gentle to the eye. Somewhat cute, still touched by youth, if not classically attractive. Average height, but thin, almost sickly. His mirror image frowned. Looking over the memories, it seemed his host was malnourished when still a child, and although he now had plenty, he would forget to eat at times. That would have to be fixed. He enjoyed good food, and if everything of heavy taste upset his stomach, he would have to suffer through a plain diet. From the conditions he had noticed so far, this lifetime would be a holiday; a world to be indulged in and amuse himself. With how few were close to his host, he could be fully himself and not arouse any suspicions. A change in eating habits would not be noticed.

As he stretched himself, he tried to remember what wish his host had traded for the use of his body. While there was no formal exchange or ritual, he preferred to treat it as such. It was as fair as he could make the situation. Finding the memory, he smiled helplessly. His host truly was a simple child. Usually, last wishes would scream at his thoughts upon arrival, for they were often quite emotionally charged. Fate knows, he had had a dreadful migraine when he woke up in his last lifetime. Enraged screams for the blood of others weren’t a cheery memory to wake to. But his host only wished for someone to thank his patron. Having been saved, along with others, from a troubled childhood, and sponsored into following his dreams and education, his host had been quite lucky in life and that luck came solely from the charity of his anonymous patron.

Crawling back into bed, he yawned. This life, he could sleep without worry.

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